KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Cameron Highlands nursery centre operators have had to throw 15,000 pots of rose plants since the Movement Control (MCO) was implemented on March 18.
Wong Lee Chiat, manager of the YG Park Sdn Bhd rose plantation, said they had incurred losses of RM20,000 to RM30,000, excluding labour costs, when they got rid of the already mature rose plants kept for sale to make room for new plants.
He said the 30-year-old plantation normally sold 6,000 to 7,000 pots of rose plants per week across the country, besides exporting to neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam.
Now with the MCO and no tourists coming to Cameron Highlands, he has now to learn to use the internet to market his rose plants online, he told Bernama.
For a start, Wong, who has a degree in agricultural science, has started marketing his rose plants through his Facebook and whatsapp to save thousands of rose plants that have reached maturity.
“With just a few hundred dollars, customers can get 22 different pots of roses of various colours,” said Wong who has been with the company for the past 12 years.
He said the information he had shared on Facebook and Whatsapp had got a positive response.
“I’m glad there are customers around Cameron Highlands booking via WhatsApp,’ he added.
“Yesterday I made a posting on my Facebook account, many messages came in after learning about the promotion,” he said.
Despite the uncertainty following the COVID-19 outbreak, Wong remains positive in his efforts to plant roses especially for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration which is just around the corner.
“We usually prepare for Aidilfitri by planting new rose plants … all the plants need to be prepared in advance, a few months before the festival… but with the lockdown, we don’t know what to do,” he said.